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Royal Charter, 750th Aniversary

Simon of Arderne

A moated Manor House was owned by Simon of Arderne.

Simon received a Royal Charter by Henry lll in 1267. Allowing him, as Lord of the Manor to hold an annual fair to be held at the festival of the Holy Trinity. This is older than the Ilkeston fair. Also the Charter allowed him to hold a weekly market every Monday. (Trinity Sunday falls in May or June. Eight weeks after Easter Day. The earliest possible date being May 17th. The latest possible date June 20th).

Simon was also granted Free Warren on all his manor lands.

Free Warren granted by Royal Licence gave him the sole right to hunt the Beasts of his Lands. Hare, Rabbit, Badger, Fox, Polecat, Pine Martin and Pheasant.

Lords of the Manor at this time were privileged with keeping the peace. This granted the Lord to place criminals in stocks, on the pillory and also use the gallows. Simon had all of these built in his Park Hall Grounds.

The neigbouring village of West Hallam had their Gallows erected at the crossroads opposite what is now Millhouse Garage, beside Park Hall Lane. Simon objected to this location.

His solution was to hang his criminals on the West Hallam gallows. On occasion he would have both gallows in use at the same time.

Replica stocks were built to represent this deed for the 700th Anniversary of the Charter, and placed opposite the church gates.

An attack on his Manorial rights came two years later in 1269. Ralph Cromwell (Lord of the Manor of West Hallam) carried this out. He organised a group of men to ransack the Hall and threw down, and carried away Simon’s Gallows, stocks and Pillory which Simon had erected under his interpretation of the Royal Charter.

Although the road leading from West Hallam crossroads to the Park Hall Hamlet is today officially sign posted Park Hall Lane to all the locals it is referred to has Simon Lane. The fields to the west of the farm leading to Smalley are also still identified on all ordnance survey maps as “Simonfields”.

Today the farm is owned by the Morgan family.


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750th Anniversary of Royal Charter Celebrations for Mapperley Village, June 2017

Red, white and blue bunting adorned the streets of Mapperley as what felt like the whole village came out to celebrate the 750th Anniversary of the signing of the Royal Charter. Originally known as Maperlie, and first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, the small Derbyshire village – which is located just to the North-West of Ilkeston - was granted the charter in 1267 by King Henry III. In it, then Lord of the Manor Simon of Ardene, was permitted to hold an annual fair on the festival of the Holy Trinity, making the event even older than Ilkeston Fair. Embracing the Medieval origins of the occasion, as events included a jester, market stalls, Maypole dancing, Robin Hood themed play, traditional stocks and medieval fancy dress.

The event was co-ordinated between Mapperley History Project, Mapperley Church of England Primary School and Holy Trinity Church, with support from the local parish council. Elaine Sarson, who runs the Mapperley Village History Project said she was hopeful that the event would help expose the village to those who may not have previously heard of it. “It’s often called Derbyshire’s best-kept secret,” said Elaine, “it’s a really thriving community.”

The village previously held an event for the 700th anniversary celebrations in 1967, where a local newspaper article reported that the foul weather could not dampen the spirits of those in attendance, as the villagers flocked to watch a day of events, which included a piano pushing race, a tug-o’-war and a fancy dress competition. Mapperley resident Bill Skinner was quoted as saying, “We were quite satisfied with things as they tuned out despite the poor weather.”

And it was Bill Skinner, 50 years later, who opened the 750th anniversary celebrations with a short speech. Whilst there was no piano race this time around, the celebration was packed full of a variety of different events, including live music, pony rides and food stalls. Like its preceding event 50 years earlier, the day was cursed by adverse weather, but, just as half a century previous, neither the turnout nor the spirit of those in attendance was affected.

The occasion even drew a royal seal of approval, as Elaine Sarson received a special note from Her Majesty the Queen to wish her well for the event. “2017 should be a very exciting time,” said Elaine, “not just for Mapperley Village, but for anyone who is interested in England’s rich history and in community life.”

Ashley Carter





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